Back on track - Healthy Meals & Explaining My Absence

Home, My life, Lunch, VEGANISM, Salads

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop. - Confucius

Before you lash out at me, I have a perfectly good excuse - (what a great way to start a new blog post!)

Wow, it's been a very long time since I last wrote a blog post. I know it's been a long time coming, but as you can imagine, with everything going on in the world with the global pandemic, the last 6 months have been absolutely chaotic; both physically and emotionally draining! - And even that's an understatement. From anxiety to trying to find my own ground and pushing through all the struggles and changes in my work and life in general, the Coronavirus impact gave way to an almost 180 degree shift in my life. Having to work from home and adapt to no longer having an office, seeing your work friends (or any friends for that matter...) has been tougher than expected. I got anxious just leaving the house and going to the supermarket. All the arrows on the floor pointing in which direction to walk the isles, the queues at the doors with 1 meter distance required, the lack of cleaning products on the shelves, the lack of food available in the supermarkets, the shortage of every single essential item...(I could go on...); everything changed so suddenly. And it wasn't easy to get used to so much change in such a short period of time.

Given the circumstances, of course my blog fell in the back burner for a little while, but I am determined to power through! And, if you ask me, that's all that matters. I am back and here to stay! So buckle up and join the train...

With the closure of all gyms across the country about 4 months ago, my health and fitness levels have also taken a bit of a back seat, but I am willing to snap out of the rut as of right now! I hate having to admit this, but it's true. I've fallen off the bandwagon. Big time! But you know what? That's okay. It's what makes us human, right? Nobody is perfect! It's the mistakes that teach you and force you to grow. Being uncomfortable is an ingredient, a necessity. And I feel uncomfortable alright!

This week, I finally had some time off from work for the first time this year! And trust me, it was NEEDED! I booked a week off and travelled to York alone where the plan was to do LITERALLY nothing other than rest. No thinking about taking photographs, worrying about work or replying to emails, uploading content, editing photos, writing about anything (although, if I'm honest, I did hope some creativity would come with the peace and stress-free lifestyle of having a whole week off...boy was I wrong!). While I wrote no novel and no magic inspiration hit me during this week, I finally have the energy to write another blog post, so I must have done something right...

I would like to keep this come-back short and simple, as I would love to share with you the newest recipes I created that helped me reboot my health and fitness routine and kick-start that healthy lifestyle once again. Yes, these are both salad recipes, but they are perfect for the summer, so don't close this post just yet, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much flavour and nutrients are packed in both these recipes.

First off, this delicious and colourful salad packed with incredible nutrients and lots of health benefits. The broad beans, also known as fava beans are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. They are thought to offer impressive health effects, such as improved motor function and immunity. With more than 13g of protein per cup, these little magic beans are the perfect addition to your meals. The sweet potatoes, especially the orange and purple varieties are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals. They also provide you with enough vitamin A, B6, and vitamin C. The carrots, tomatoes and mushrooms will give you even more energy, with vitamin A, B, K1 and potassium. Lastly, the spinach and pinenut bites are a great way to add more protein into your meal. I topped off all vegetables with a drizzle of vegan mayo and yellow mustard and this was one of my favourite meals in a long time. Talk about getting back on track!

The importance of seasonal eating is a concept I have been trying to embrace lately. It's amazing how quickly we forget that making the most of the fruits and vegetables in season is a way to nourish our bodies and minds. For lunch this week, I also had this salad that I named 'Summer Abundance Salad'. It had romaine lettuce, fresh pineapple and strawberries, shredded carrot, garlic & herb croutons, onion, hemp seeds, basil and a coconut, lime & chilli dressing. The combination of the pineapple and strawberries with the rest of the salad was perfect and super refreshing. The dressing binds everything together in a mouth-watering way. I also added some Quorn vegan fish fingers for some extra crunch. The flavours just burst in my mouth and I loved the combination of crispy/sweet/crunchy of this creation.

I have been trying to embrace seasonal eating while remembering to not rush eating my meals. It's so important to focus on your meals and nothing else while you're eating. Drop your phone, forget about the world for a second and just enjoy your creation. Take your time. Slow down.

I would like to finish this blog post by reminding you of exactly this: the importance of slowing down. We live under so much pressure these days: to be better, do better and more, create more content, be more creative, multi-task, run around and do everything to meet everybody's expectations. I hope this post serves as a reminder that it is okay, as well as necessary, to take a step back; enjoy what today has to offer without feeling guilty that you took your time with it.

Wishing you a wonderful week.